Traveling within the EU? Did you know that the EU has regulations to protect air travelers in cases if their flight is late or disrupted in some way? EC 261 is the law that sets out rules for compensation if your airline has flight issues, and AirHelp is here to assist you in making an EC 261 claim should you experience a flight disruption.
If your flight has been canceled, delayed, overbooked, or you have been denied boarding or had your luggage lost or damaged, EC 261 places the responsibility on the operating airline to provide late flight compensation. That means that if you are flying out of or into any of the 28 EU countries (including the French Antilles and Canary Islands, but excluding the Isle of Man and Channel Islands), you are covered by EC 261. You are, however, not covered if you fly into the EU on a non-EU airline carrier (for example, American Airlines) or if your outgoing flight was originally outside of the EU. Though this may appear confusing, AirHelp has an eligibility check to help you make sure that you're covered.
Airlines, under EC 261, are obligated to offer late flight compensation when the fault is their own, but not when extraordinary circumstances occur such as airport strikes, security concerns, or inclement weather. This is because the disruption is caused by events outside of the airline's control. However, in spite of this, airlines are still obligated to show by law that appropriate measures were taken to avoid delays. For example, if other airlines successfully predicted the circumstances and effectively prevented delays, your operating carrier may still be required to offer compensation or benefits.
No win, no fee
AirHelp is the world's largest air passenger rights organization, here to help air travelers secure compensation for delayed, canceled, or overbooked flights.
We make claiming compensation easy and stress-free. Whether you are unsure of your rights, lack the time, or simply want an expert to handle your entire claim for you, AirHelp can help you get what you are rightfully owed.
We operate on a no win, no fee basis, so you can check your compensation risk-free.
How do you know when you should claim compensation for a delayed or canceled flight? Though the law can be complicated, we're here to break it down for you:
Delayed flights: you may be able to claim compensation if your flight arrived 3 hours or more late.
Canceled flights: you may be eligible for compensation if your flight was canceled less than 14 days before it was due to depart.
Overbookings: you are owed compensation any time you are denied boarding through no fault of your own — so long as you didn't voluntarily give up your seat.
We should note that if extraordinary circumstances were involved, arirlines are under no obligation to pay compensation. Examples of extraordinary circumstances include bad weather, travel restrictions, and air traffic control strikes. Though these situations cause delays and cancellations, the airline isn't at fault, so can't be expected to offer compensation.
Remember these are European flight regulations and so only apply to flights departing from an EU airport, or flights landing in the EU with a European airline. The table below makes it clear which flights are covered:
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|All flights under 1,500 km||Up to €250 per person|
|Internal EU flights over 1,500 km||Up to €400 per person|
|Non-internal EU flights between 1,500 - 3,500 km||Up to €400 per person|
|Non-internal EU flights over 3,500 km||Up to €600 per person|
Table shows values in € as specified in EC 261
In some circumstances the compensation amount may differ from the standard amounts shown above. The easiest way to find out what you’re owed is to use our Compensation Calculator.
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